Insights • Inspirations • Destinations • Design

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Paris in September

I've always loved Paris in September. It's truly magic. The weather is still warm, but the evening air is cool, and as the leaves begin to change shade there is a wistfulness to the city as Parisians sigh over the inevitable end of summer, pull on their cardigans and trenchcoats, and head resignedly into autumn. 

Many of the bars, bistros, grassy knolls and café terraces are jammed with people at once embracing and mourning the lingering sun. In fact, it's not uncommon in September for Parisians to take the afternoon off, if the day is lovely, in order to sit somewhere and reflect upon life for that contemplative period between brunch and l’apéro. It is summer’s end, and, as happens every year in Paris, the city doesn’t know whether to be satisfied or sad.

This time of year is known as la rentrée. A particular Parisian syndrome (and a fabulously onomatopoetic description if ever I’ve heard one), it refers to the time of year when Parisians return to town after their summer sojourns and the city stretches, sighs and repositions itself, in an urban version of yoga, to mentally and physically ready itself for the months ahead. People unpack their suitcases and empty the beach sand from their coloured Bensimmons, children return to school, and the rest reacquaint themselves with their boulanger, fishmonger, neighbours and friends to catch up on the summer gossip (otherwise known as being branchée, or plugged in). In essence, la rentrée is when routine resumes with a quiet new solemnity. Even though much of the city is stressée (stressed) and pressée (in a hurry).

As the city slowly returns to normality after the ebbs and flows of summer, thoughts turn to deadlines, to diaries and social functions, and – as Fashion Week approaches – even to new season’s wardrobes.

Life in Paris is moving into another gear. A new year has begun.

{All photos © copyright Janelle McCulloch 2012}


  1. Oh what a stunning blog - I am going to love reading through all your posts. As a relatively new blogger myself (12 months old) - I love discovering new blogs and a big thank you to Vicki for the introduction! Have a lovely weekend. F

  2. Stop it! Another fabulous, evocative post. I find autumn a time of reflection, with that sense of time passing and sadness that summer is over.
    Here in Queensland, September is springtime and although we don't have defined seasons, we have jacarandas to remind us summer is on the way! More daylight, warmer days and the end of the year - party time is on its way.
    Your photos are so wonderful, I am studying them wishing that I can emulate them.
    Hope life is good for you!

  3. Ah, I've just booked to go in December and even though I've been umpteen
    times, I popped into read your previous posts on Paris as there were so many lovely sights in them that I had never seen before.

  4. What a treat to find your blog, via French Essense, this morning and to look at your wonderful photos as I have my tea. I have been to Paris many times, but go less and less in this time of my life so I particularly enjoy beautiful blogs such as yours. Many thanks, and I'll be one of your constant companions.

  5. Perhaps that's what I need, Camp Paris.

    A year of good caretaking, Parisian style.

    Your pictures tell the story, and so much more, in a way words cannot.

    XO T

  6. I discovered your gorgeous blog through Vicki at French Essence this morning. It is always a treat to discover new blogs. I love your photos of Paris. You captured the essence of Paris during the Fall. I will continue to follow your blog.

  7. Another great color combination: Green and turquoise. I think your last post on pinks & tangerines changed my life. Well, it solidified my love of the combination at the least. I'm happy I found you through French Essence and I look forward to more inspiration...and a new word here and there - ha!

  8. I found your beautiful blog through Vicki also. It's lovely photos have me lusting for a trip back to Paris soon!
    Your assistant librarian is adorable.

  9. So lovely...beautiful post...I'll be following.

  10. I just found you via French Essence and am excited to acquaint myself with your posts. I love your Paris Secrets ... The book has been my regular go to when I need to "see" Paris. It sits on my reading table next to my reading chair...for over a year now.

  11. Donna in Potomac is right you have captured green and turquoise/aqua/eau de nil in this post beautifully.

    September is one of the best months in Sydney also ...

    Cant wait to see whats new? at Fashion Week.

  12. What a wonderful blog. Thank you so much. Now I have so much reading to do to catch up with your previous blogs but then again, what a delightful treat to look forward to.

  13. Oh Janelle. This is such a gorgeously evocative and informative post. Thanks so much for sharing these insights with us! J x

  14. I love Paris anytime of the year! Fall and Winter are my favorite times of the year there.

    What a wonderful post! I hope you have a great day!


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